The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney. Read more about the nephrone structure of renal corpuscles and tubule apparatus!


The Nephron is the basic functional unit of the kidney. Here the urine is formed, which is then excreted. Each kidney contains approximately 1 to 1.4 million nephrons. Each consists of a kidney body (Corpusculum renale, Malpighi body) and the associated renal tubules (Tubulusapparat). Read all important information about the nephron here!

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  • Nephron: construction

  • Nephron: function

Nephron: construction

Each nephron consists of a kidney body and a tubule apparatus.


The renal corpus is the first part of the nephron and consists of a tangle of capillaries. This capillary ball is called glomerulus. It is surrounded by a delicate capsule called the capsule glomerularis or Bowman capsule.

The glomerulus is a complex ball of 30 to 40 parallel capillary loops. The blood supply and the blood drain are close together and form the vessel pole. This vascular pole always points in the direction of the renal cortex.

The Bowman capsule consists of two leaves. One lies on the capillaries, the other borders the glomerulus towards the environment. There is a gap between the leaves. In these the primary urine is released.

The capsule opens at the so-called urinary pole in the system of renal tubules. The urinary pole lies opposite the vessel pole and points in the direction of the renal medulla.

Renal tubules (tubule apparatus)

The second part of the nephron is the tubule apparatus - a system of thicker and thinner kidney tubules, some of them loops. He takes the primary urine at the urinary pole, concentrating it to about one percent of its volume. He also changes the chemical composition of the primary urine.

The tubule apparatus can be divided into three sections:

  • Main section (proximal tubule): strongly convoluted initial part
  • Transition piece (intermediate tubule): very thin urinary canal that makes a bend (Henley loop) and merges into the ascending limb
  • Ascending leg (distal tubule): pulls back to the glomerulus, writhes, touches the vascular pole of the renal corpus and opens into a connecting tubulus (tubule reuniens).

Several of these Verbindungsstubuli finally open into a manifold, which detects the connectors of about ten nephrons. The headers lead into the renal pelvis. From there, the urine passes through the ureter into the bladder and then further out through the urethra.

Nephron: function

in the Nephron the urine formation takes place. What happens there, read in the article kidney function.

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